The Death of a Workplace Murderer

The Dying of a Office Assassin

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In January 1992, Robert Mack, a missile mechanic for Common Dynamics in San Diego, realized his destiny at a day termination assembly. He definitely knew he was going to be fired for attendance points as a result of that morning, he traded some cocaine for a gun. He was able to kill himself throughout the assembly. “That can present them,” he thought.

On the finish of the assembly, which, sarcastically, he was 90 minutes late for, Mack modified his thoughts. He shot and killed the younger HR supervisor dealing with his case and shot and wounded his boss, who later died. Mack surrendered to the police and was sentenced to 2 life phrases.

As the middle of a e-book I co-wrote with Dr. Michael Mantell, known as Ticking Bombs: Defusing Violence within the Office (Enterprise One Irwin), I interviewed Mack in 1993 on the jail the place he was housed in San Luis Obispo, CA. The e-book got here out in 1994 and served as an early information for enterprise folks involved about this rising and harmful office difficulty. Again within the Nineties, the shootings have been principally taking place on the submit workplace. (The U.S. Postmaster Common again then, Marvin Runyon, wrote the Foreword for our e-book.)

I interviewed Mack once more in jail, this time in 2013 in Blythe, CA, 20 years after our first face-to-face dialog. I wished to know what he had realized in jail about his crime after 20 years. Quick reply: not a lot. Whereas he instructed me he was sorry for “what had occurred,” he blamed Common Dynamics for driving him to do what he did. If he had apologized for his crime to the California Parole Board, he definitely would have been let loose early. He was already in his 60s once I interviewed him the second time.

In October 2020, Robert Mack died from most cancers at his sister’s house in San Diego at age 72. He had been launched from state jail a number of months earlier due to his medical points, which included a number of again surgical procedures, and the same old causes of overcrowding, costly medical prices for older inmates, and possibly the truth that he was now not a hazard to others.

Over the almost 30 years that I knew Robert Mack, I saved in contact with him a number of instances per yr at first, then extra sometimes, by means of letters. He stated he was all the time glad to boost my information of office violence by means of our conversations. For essentially the most half, he was trustworthy with me about why he did what he did. I requested him loads of laborious questions on why he shot these two males, what jail life was actually like, and what he was doing to make amends. He instructed me he had been by means of loads of counseling packages and group conferences to provide him perception into his crimes. I’m positive he attended these conferences; I’m not so positive they’d the specified impact.

He typically requested me to contact the parole board to assist get him launched. I by no means did. I used to be a cop in San Diego for 15 years. I used to be on obligation throughout the Mack taking pictures, and I believed, then and now, he belonged the place he was, for so long as he didn’t personal what he did. If he had been let go a lot earlier, I don’t suppose he would have harmed anybody else after his launch. Crime and violence are the actions of younger, impulsive males.

After I realized in the present day he had died, I thought of how laborious he tried to get me to know why he did what he did. I assumed in regards to the three households whose lives he ruined, the 2 victims’ and his personal.

I wished to interview Mack in jail in 1993 as a result of he survived his crime. Lately, most office and faculty violence perpetrators kill themselves or are killed by the police.

Now he’s gone, a person I knew so much about, for all of the flawed causes, for 30 years. I’ll take into consideration what that each one means, then, now, and going ahead.

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